STORY OF SAMSON. Set of 7 plates, complete. THIRD STATE, published 1643, numbered. Original design artists: Maarten de Vos (signature) and Jan Snellinck (see design note, below). Original engraver: Antonius Wierix (signature). Publisher: Nicholas Visscher (signature). Reference: New Hollstein 91.3-97.3 (de Vos). Overall, plates are reasonably clean with clear and sharp impressions, nicely detailed. Evident handling smudges about the lower and outer margins. Note the .75″ stain to Plate 7 at left edge of the plate; similar stain on verso. Some plates have a wrinkle at the center of the lower margin. Plates 11″ x 8.25-8.5″, uncut on laid paper, with wide margins 14″ x 11.5″. Plates numbered, with signatures all on Plate 1. Contemporaneous numbering 108-114 at upper right outer margin. Engravings and COA set in 4 museum-quality portfolios (landscape).
Unframed, sold as a set only. Story from the Book of Judges, with Plate 7 depicting Samson’s iconic destruction of the pagan temple. COA on premium “gold leaf” paper with gold seal and signature.[The SECOND STATE 1585 set, uncut, signed and published by G. de Jode, is available, framed, $5500.]
Note on Design: According to the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University, in 2014, “This rare series,” part of G. de Jode’s magisterial Thesaurus sacrarum historiarum veteris testamenti (Treasury of Sacred Events from the Old Testament), 1580/1585, was engraved by Anton II Wierix (Antonius Wierix) based on a combination of two original artists. Wierix incorporated throughout “de Vos’s typical Romanist style” with “heightened light and shadow” as can be seen, for example, in Pl.1 with the billowing smoke framing the departing angel. Wierix also incorporated throughout the series “Snellinck’s Northern vernacular style” as seen, for example, in the “open landscapes with natural and architectural elements.” Together, the “opposing styles” of these two artists “drive the viewer into and through the narrative.”